15 Christmas Gift Ideas for Horse Lovers
The run-up to Christmas should be a time of excitement and anticipation. Bonus boxes of chocolates in the tack room and singing along to cheesy Christmas carols on the yard. The problems arise when you find yourself stuck for Christmas gift ideas. How to find something that is the right mix of thoughtful, useful, appealing to that person and within budget. Well never fear, we are here to help. We have pulled together a list of our 15 favourite Christmas gift ideas for horse lovers, with people working in the equine industry in mind, suitable for your employer, employee or college (or even yourself!).
1. The classic gift of warmth
As we discussed in our first article Keep Warm Working with Horses this Winter the fight against chill blains and frozen toes is real. Few who spend the majority of their working day exposed to the elements wouldn’t appreciate another item in their wardrobe to stock the defences against the cold. Our top picks are….
- Headbands – Perfect for keeping your ears and forehead toasty but still letting any excess heat escape through the top of your head. Prices range from £3.99 for a basic Mark Todd fleece version to £25 for a fancier version with this and I quote ‘eye-catching and stylish sequin detailing’ from Spooks Jose.
- Waterproof and/or thermal gloves – As we all know there is almost certainly a glove monster that sneaks into the yard whenever our backs are turned and eats, usually only one, of your best ever favourite gloves. See the above-linked article for our favourite gloves.
- Merino or Bamboo base layers – The outdoor sports world secret to keeping warm and dry no matter how many times you overheat then cool when working hard. Gold star level comfort in the wintertime. Base layers can vary hugely in price depending on the exact fabric make up and brand from £15-£50. Go Outdoors offer some great discounts, some of which you can browse here. Get in quick for delivery before Christmas though.
- Electric hand and/or foot warmers – These inexpensive items literally make perfect stocking fillers. Ideal for anyone who suffers with poor circulation. With the click of a button they heat up and can be stuffed into gloves, down socks or in your pockets as little balls of heat to warm hands on in between chores. The single-use warmers can be as cheap as 99p a box but for a more environmentally friendly option look for reusable options such as these at £4.99 for a pack of 2.
2. British Grooms Association (BGA) membership
The BGA are an organisation dedicated to supporting grooms in a multitude of ways throughout their career. Members benefit from access to legal support, advice on money matters, insurance, supported professional development through training courses and members discount on a range of useful products. The association is backed by several Olympic riders and top-level grooms and continue to grow their presence as the voice for groom’s rights. You can read more about, and buy BGA membership here – from just £21.50 a year.
3. Inspirational Autobiographies
Great as social media is at giving us an inside look at the world of our heroes, it can never replace the in-depth thought out revelations of a good autobiography. So much can be learnt about why they train the way they do and all the work that goes on behind the scenes of top horses and their riders. Who isn’t dying to know more about what makes their idols so successful? To get you started… Clare Balding “My Animals and Other Family”, Nick Skelton “Gold – My Autobiography”, and William Fox-Pitt, Carl Hester, Mary King and Mark Todd Autobiographies are all sold here.
4. Tickets to a top event
Assuming no-one directly involved in the gift already competes at such a level tickets to watch the top riders do their stuff makes for a super inspiring day out. By this we’re thinking of the likes of Badminton, Burghley, Hickstead, HOYS among other well known international events. Attending an event as a pure spectator, no equine commitments in tow, can be a pleasant change and a chance to catch up on some socialising, shopping and chilled spectating, enjoying the atmosphere with none of the pressure. To get you started… buy a Badminton Horse Trials Gift Voucher here, Hickstead Derby meeting Saturday tickets here, or Cheltenham festival tickets here. For more ideas have a look on the Ticket Master website.
5. Hanrose novelty horsey-themed candles and gifts
This unique, independent company make a huge range of unusual soy candles infused with the scents of your favourite pastime. Luckily the more pleasant aspects of it, for example ‘Tackroom’, ‘Riding in the Rain’, ‘Tally Ho’ and my personal favourite name ‘Unicorn Fluff’! Hanrose also offer something a little different with their photo art gifts, heart-shaped candle holders and quote posters, all equine-themed. Browse the Hanrose website here.
6. Vouchers towards HGV or trailer driver training
If someone close to you has been procrastinating over whether to start their training for too long now why not give them a helpful nudge in the right direction with some vouchers this Christmas. Mention our article ‘How to boost your income – get an HGV licence‘ on The Grooms List to benefit from a 20% discount on your booking!
7. The Amazing Wacky Socks
In danger of becoming far too serious with our list here, I propose to you the wondrous eye-catching gift of Wacky Sox. Perfect for the truly stylish fun-loving character (aka the childish idiot) no matter their age or role in the workplace. Bring a little colour to your friend’s daily life with these corkers. Shop for Wacky Sox here.
8. Treat them to a lesson with a top trainer
This could be a trainer they have used before but can only infrequently afford to visit or attending a clinic with a visiting professional rider/trainer. As an employer, this could become a dream treat and you could gift your groom or working pupil a lesson with your own trainer either aboard their horse or a yard favourite they regularly ride at home and love like their own.
9. Horse themed jewellery
There is a whole host of companies that fashion quirky bits of jewellery from random horse related items. Gallop Guru are independent traders and stockists of HiHo silver jewellery who are mixing it up from the standard horseshoe or stirrup iron pendant and using bits instead. They also sell normal jewellery and a good selection of other horse-themed gifts if you’re still feeling stuck for ideas. Browse for Gallop Guru gift ideas here.
10. A much-needed therapy session
Wrestling (I mean calmly communicating your wishes) with a 1200-pound horse not to mention all the hauling bales (following full Health & Safety procedures of course), muck heap sculpting, lorry ramp weightlifting and recent snow ploughing and ice skating efforts can leave the back and muscles a little worse for wear. The gift of a good back crunching session from a Chiropractor or deep tissue massage pain session from a Physiotherapist can be just the ticket to get your friend to quit their moaning and feel fresh for the year ahead. Alternatively, a relaxing massage of the candles and whale song variety will possibly leave them feeling more kindly towards you in the immediate future.
11. An annual subscription to the Horse and Hound Magazine
If you have a friend/colleague/boss/groom who rushes out every Thursday lunchtime to hunt down and secure their weekly copy of the Horse and Hound, or who is always pinching your copy to read, then an annual subscription to the weekly equine magazine would make a perfect Christmas gift for them. For £19.99 for the year, it really is the gift that keeps on giving – every Thursday for the next 52 issues. Choose from an iPad and iPhone subscription (ensuring the recipient has an iPhone or iPad of course), or treat them to the printed edition, which comes with exclusive subscriber rewards every month. Find out more on the Horse and Hound website. There is even the option to indicate that the subscription is a gift, making it even more perfect for Christmas.
PLUS SIZE STOCKING IDEAS
12. A show bag
As any good groom will tell you, the key to a smooth competition day is organisation. Trying to carry everything in your pocket or a tatty one compartment rucksack that’s impossible to find anything in is a recipe for a stressful day. A purpose made well-designed show bag can make everyone’s life much easier. Have it packed with everything you need in separate, easily accessible compartments and keep its stashed in the lorry. One less thing to worry about so you can just grab it and go when you’re heading down to the ring. Here is an example from Houghton Country.
13. A show rug
Very little looks more professional than a good quality personalised show rug with the rider’s name on the hindquarters. It speaks of dedication and investment in turn out appearance. This can make a nice thoughtful gift for an aspiring young rider or a much-appreciated gift for a boss to show you care about how the horses look when out and about.
14. A personalised framed picture
Chosen carefully a framed high-quality picture or canvas can make a lovely gift that keeps on giving. It’s best to pick a picture they have previously shown a great love of or that would mean something special to them. It could be a portrait of their favourite horse, beloved pet dog or an action shot from an event they did very well at that season. Depending on the person, a smiling proud moment from the award ceremony can be a nice touch bringing back good memories every time they see it.
STILL STUCK FOR GIFT IDEAS?
15. You won’t go wrong with a Naylors gift card!
Naylors Equestrian is one of The Grooms List team member Emily’s favourite websites for buying just about everything for your horses, dogs/pets, and of course yourself! With their frequent cracking discounts and special offers, Naylors Equestrian is perfect for purchasing necessities AND treats for 2 and 4 footers on the yard. You may find the gift you’re looking for whilst browsing the website, but gift cards are available for as little as £5 so there is an option to suit all budgets, and with the January Sales coming up it’s sure to be appreciated! Check out Naylors Equestrian gift cards here.
We hope these ideas have taken some of the headache out of Christmas shopping for you. If there’s one last top tip to remember, it’s that the gift doesn’t have to be perfect or expensive. The best gifts are a little bit different and individually bought with what that person would really appreciate in mind. Clichéd as it sounds…it’s the thought that counts!